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Inmate Turns Down Heart Transplant


New Paltz, NY – An inmate at a correctional facility in Greene County, New York has turned down the opportunity for a heart transplant. WAMC's Greg Fry reports that the man was screened last week, and some want to know more about the potential procedure...

Kenneth Pike was sentenced to 18-40 years for the 1996 rape of a young female relative. He was flown last week from the Coxsackie Correctional facility to a Rochester hospital, where he was screened for a heart transplant. Michael Mushlin is a professor at the Pace University Law School. He says it's a violation of the Eighth Amendment to not provide needed information to an inmate.

"If the government is deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need, then that can cause suffering to a person and even death to a person that isn't part of the criminal sentence," Mushlin said.

Western New York State Senator Michael Nozzolio has called for hearings on the matter of care for inmates, and whether procedures like these, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, should be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Greg Fry, WAMC News.